We’re definitely getting ahead of ourselves, considering that FriendFeed is brand new and has a small (though no doubt devout!) following. But more than one startup is trying to aggregate video consumption activity in the same way FriendFeed brings together its users’ participation in the various social services from around the web.
The jist of what FriendFeed offers might actually be particularly well-suited to online video — some 35 percent of video consumers prefer recommendations from their friends and family, according to one study. If you could get a stream of links to what your friends have watched, or better yet a single player that puts them all into a playlist for you to lean back and enjoy, online video watching might be that much more fulfilling (and addicting). And hey, maybe the focused opportunity is there, since FriendFeed’s broader focus means only three of its 43 services are video-related: Seesmic, Vimeo and YouTube.
Social video discovery service Mefeedia debuted last week a FriendFeed-like feature that lets its users track their subscriptions from YouTube, Hulu, Vimeo and iTunes. Though the Mefeedia interface is a little screwy (and I had a bunch of trouble with this feature in particular in Safari), it’s nice that it lets you watch all your subscriptions in a single player.
Snackfeed is a young company coming out of Philadelphia’s Dreamit startup program (which is in the model of Y Combinator, taking a small team with an idea and funding it for a few months of hard work to see if anything comes of it). The current implementation implementation is somewhat limited in that you have to watch a video embedded on the Snackfeed site for it to be registered and shared with your friends.
For now, Snackfeed’s focus, like FriendFeed’s, is enabling discovery and contextual conversation around friends’ activities. It’s also looking to bring in video recommendations from blog mentions like Hype Machine does for music.
Snackfeed does seem to monkey with other people’s players and video streams a bit to make them fit within its player. I’m not entirely sure that’s kosher, but it’s only a private beta for now.
If you’d like to check it out for yourself, head over to Snackfeed and use the invite code “newteevee.” That should be good for at least the first nine people who try it. The Snackfeed crew seems quite open to feedback if you have any; as team member Mika Ohiorhenuan told us, “We’re a little worried that we’re making a tool for a market that doesn’t know what it wants yet.”